Multi-Cultural & Interpreter Services

Multicultural Services Department

Diversity Statement

Diversity Vision:

Our vision is to support the success of health care reform, eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, promote wellness, manage chronic disease and build public health capacity locally within the service area of Heywood Hospital which includes the following:

Gardner, Ashburnham, Winchendon, Westminster, Templeton, Baldwinville, Hubbardston.

As we continue to meet the needs and expectations of increasingly culturally and ethnically varied populations, a better understanding of cultural differences and their relationship to quality service, respect, inclusiveness, and sensitivity becomes essential. Diversity includes all differences, not only those pertaining to racial and ethnic distinctions. We must work to address the particular needs and concerns of specific populations such as African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian, Black, Hawaiian, Hispanic, Latino, Pacific Islander, as well as the elderly, the disabled, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender {GBLT} communities.


To serve all the people with the Greater Gardner Area, particularly the underserved, and to promote healthy people, healthy families, healthy communities and healthy environments through compassionate care, education and prevention.

Diversity Goals:

To advance the objectives of Heywood Hospital by facilitating an inclusive work environment which: embraces the diversity of its staff and programs; encourages an atmosphere of mutual respect; and enhances awareness of issues related to health equity.

The MCS Department is readily available to assist our patients with services provided through the department such as Diversity Education, Interpreter Services and Spiritual Services.

Interpreter Services

Interpreter Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week As a healthcare provider, we have an obligation to our patients to provide them with appropriate interpreter services at no cost.

This service is provided to our patients/residents and families at no cost, and we will not apply surcharges under any circumstances.

Interpreter services are available for all those non- English speaking and/or Limited English Proficiency and for those individuals who speak ASL (American Sign Language). These populations are to be provided access to interpreter services at any point of entry into the Heywood system and throughout their care tenure.

The purpose of this service is to meet the special needs and concerns of individuals who are members of linguistic and cultural minority groups and have Limited English Proficiency [LEP]. Availability of interpreters who are fluent in a language understood by LEP clients or prospective clients is necessary to provide said clients equal access to Heywood Hospital services.

Through verification from the trained interpreter, staff is able to ascertain the patient's preference whether  to follow through with interpreter services or to decline them.

Use of Untrained Interpreters for Medical Interpretation:

We strongly discourage the use of non-trained family/friends as interpreters.

At Heywood Hospital, we prefer to use the services of trained interpreters. We shall refrain from requiring, suggesting or encouraging patients to use family members or friends as interpreters.

In the event a patient prefers to use their own interpreter, we have an obligation to inform the patient that we prefer to use interpreter services by trained professionals to eliminate the risk or misinterpretation of medical information. If the patient still prefers to use their own interpreter, this preference will be respected .

Use of Minors for Interpretation:

The use of minors for interpretation services is prohibited as per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations 7/1/01.

For more information, contact the Multicultural Service Department at 978-630-6166.


Partner in the Community

The MultiCultural and Social Services Department partners with many community organizations. Some of the events can be found at


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